bob feist invitational Archives - Bob Feist Invitational

Wrangler BFI Week Breaks Records, Pays Out Nearly $4 Million

Wrangler BFI Week, anchored by the 46th annual Bob Feist Invitational Team Roping on April 1, paid out a record $3.88 million to ropers and drew more than 2,000 teams. The event, running March 29 through April 4, was comprised of 13 separate ropings over seven days in Guthrie, Oklahoma’s Lazy E Arena. Aired live on the Wrangler Network, 112,000 viewers at home watched more than 3.3 million minutes of team roping.

On April 2, Treyton Peterson of Plainview, Texas, and Lance Sippy of Canyon, Texas, roped four steers in 30.79 seconds to split a whopping $200,000 cash in the largest-ever 12.5 roping during BFI Week. The pair bested the field of more than 350 teams from seventh callback, including reserve champs Zac Watson and Milton Aguilera by about a tenth of a second over all four steers. The second-place team still earned $160,000 cash, plus Watson also placed sixth with Ben Winters for another $30,000 a man. He took $110,000 back to Burleson, Texas.

“These cattle were great, I thought,” said Sippy, who got back into team roping after a few years away. “I kind of needed to stay out to see that corner and Treyton made it easy. It’s easy for us to rope together.”

The pair practice and work together for Sippy’s business. The heeler gave a special shout-out to horse trainer Jason Thomas, who helped both men improve their roping and horsemanship recently.

On April 3, longtime team ropers and good friends Samuel Livingston of El Paso, Texas and Danny Zuniga of German, Texas, combined to finally win the 11.5 Businessman’s roping and cash checks worth $75,000 apiece.

The pair, who finished two-tenths of a second behind the champs just a year ago for third, had each entered the lucrative 11.5 for about a dozen years in Reno, Nevada. Livingston has previously heeled in the 11.5, but was heading for Zuniga this time – and knew to urge his horse across the pen to keep the steer out in front of Zuniga.

“Danny’s pretty trusty back there,” said Livingston. “There’s some pressure. You don’t want to drop the ball for a guy who catches all the time.”

Zuniga, who hat-flogged his horse and did a spin during the victory lap, works cattle and trains rope horses when he’s not roping. Livingston’s career has been in real-estate construction.

“Win or lose, it’s so great to have this opportunity,” said Zuniga. “It’s been fun to watch the event evolve over the years. We are so grateful to finally take home this big win; it’s been a bucket-list thing for us.”

Also on April 3, former top professional steer wrestler-turned construction foreman Tooter Silver of Quitman, Arkansas, hit pay dirt in the 10.5-Over-40 event with electrician Cole Mott of Kansas, Oklahoma, to split $108,000. The pair edged reserve champs Tammy Ellerman and Jim Matlack of Colorado by a whopping five seconds over four rounds to get the win.

On the final day of BFI Week in the 9.5-Over-40, longtime friends Steven Hinson and Tom Bridges of Arkansas said they drew good cattle and, from second callback, made a clean run to edge 165 other teams for the win – and a split of $100,000 cash.

“You don’t get to rope for that kind of money very often,” said Hinson of Jonesboro. “We had to take it one steer at a time and it just worked out for us today. It’s always fun to turn around and see your heeler smiling. This win feels great!”

Also on April 4, Nick McClelland of Roswell, New Mexico and Cody Hill of Tahoka, Texas, out-roped the field in the brand-new 8.5 event to split $45,000 for their time of 43.07 seconds on four steers.  Roping from sixth callback, the crop adjuster and oilfield worker met in a prior Texas roping where they drew each other. McClelland told Hill if he ever wanted to rope somewhere, to call him. Hill called and said, “Let’s go to the BFI.” And their first-ever trip to the Lazy E Arena was worth $24,500 apiece.

In the final roping of the week, neighbors Dustin Shelton and Shawn McCalister of Henrietta, Texas, split $16,000 for winning the average of the first-ever 7 roping. Shelton, who manages wheat-pasture cattle, and McCalister, a former bull rider from Louisiana who made the PBR Finals, only needed to be 17-some seconds to win the roping. They came tight in 7 and change on a great steer to stomp the field by more than 11 seconds on four.

“I always wanted to go to BFI Week when it was in Reno, but the schedule never worked out,” said McCalister. “When it came here, I figured we had to give it a shot.”

McCalister, who always headed until a couple of years ago, heeled on a cow-bred mare that cost him $2,500. With this check, she’s earned $38,000 for him thus far.

“You always dream of coming and doing this, so when you have success here, it kind of makes you tongue-tied,” admitted Shelton, a husband and father of four.

2023 BFI 12.5 RESULTS

Aggregate Results (on four head)

  1. Treyton Peterson and Lance Sippy, 30.79 seconds, $200,000
  2. Zac Watson and Milton Aguilera, 30.91 seconds, $160,000
  3. Jim Bob Fritz and James Watson, 31.50 seconds, $120,000
  4. James Lockhart and Wesley Andrews, 31.81 seconds, $100,000
  5. Craig Moore and Hayden Powell, 32.09 seconds, $80,000
  6. Zac Watson and Ben Winters, 32.52 seconds, $60,000
  7. Cole Harmon and Joseph Hammett, 32.57 seconds, $45,000
  8. Kayelen Helton and Shawn Vargas, 32.87 seconds, $30,000
  9. Heath Hardman and Taylor Mitchell, 33.15 seconds, $20,000
  10. Lincoln Lewis and Dylan Gordon, 33.22 seconds, $15,000
  11. Chad Ramer and Willy Gasperson, 33.91 seconds, $10,000
  12. Troy Herring and Trenton Tucker, 33.92 seconds, $9,000
  13. Brian Gregg and Bill Cody Johnson, 33.95 seconds, $8,000
  14. Samuel Livingston and Barry Gentry, 34.14 seconds, $7,000
  15. Erica Krantz and Austyn Ford, 35.59 seconds, $6,000
  16. Chase Bierma and John O’Conner, 36.44 seconds, $5,000
  17. Johnny P Garcia and Adrian Martinez, 36.73 seconds, $5,000
  18. Cody Wheeler and Miles Baker, 37.25 seconds, $5,000
  19. Cory King and Jay Shaffer, 40.15 seconds, $5,000
  20. Grayson Dykes and Any Anaya, 40.64 seconds, $5,000

Rotation One Fast Time

  1. Caleb Estep and Tracy Estep, 5.49 seconds, $7,500
  2. Jarett Rogers and Jared Gipson, 5.74 seconds, $6,000
  3. Ryan Richardson and Speed Williams, 6.19 seconds, $4,500
  4. Adrian Martinez and Logan Wengert, 6.25 seconds, $3,000

Rotation Two Fast Time

  1. Casey Lambert and Dustin Noblitt, 6.01 seconds, $7,500
  2. James Lockhart and Wesley Andrews, 6.12 seconds, $6,000
  3. Chase Bierma and John O’Connor, 6.18 seconds, $3,750
  4. Heath Hardman and Taylor Mitchell, 6.18 seconds, $3,750

Short Go Fast Time

  1. Samuel Livingston and Barry Genry, 6.39 seconds, $4,000
  2. Troy Herring and Trenton Tucker, 6.56 seconds, $3,000

Kirchner & Thompson Take $160,000 Career Win at BFI

The BFI win is in a league of its own for 2023 champs Curry Kirchner and Tyson Thompson.

BFI Photo by Andersen CbarC Photo

By Kendra Santos

Curry Kirchner and Tyson Thompson had the biggest day of their young roping careers at the 46th annual Bob Feist Invitational Team Roping Classic, and thanks to the unprecedented 100% 2023 payback have a record $160,000 to show for it. Kirchner, 24, and Thompson, 25, roped six steers in 45.38 seconds to take center stage at the fabulous Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma at BFI’s end on April 1. After braving the BFI marathon, both were borderline speechless. 

“The BFI is the biggest roping there is,” said Kirchner, 24, who works alongside his dad, Robert, at Myrl Mortenson’s cattle operation about an hour and 15 minutes northwest of Guthrie in Ames, Oklahoma. “To just be able to compete in this roping is great. To even think about winning it is crazy. 

“Winning the BFI is everything. This is the first big roping I’ve ever placed at, let alone won. What’s funny is that I didn’t feel any pressure in the short round. I felt super calm, like just go out there and do my job and see what happens.”

Kirchner and Thompson—who were awarded Coats Saddles, Gist Buckles, Resistol Hats and Hat Pacs, YETI Coolers, Best Ever Pads, Justin Boots, B&W Hitches, Equinety and BFI Wine on top of that cool $160,000—were the fourth callback behind the high team of Clint Summers and Cory Petska, Coleman Proctor and Logan Medlin, and Brandon Beers and Daniel Braman. 

Biggest Win by Far

“This is absolutely my biggest win by far,” said Thompson, 25, who lives in tiny Munday, Texas about an hour north of Abilene. “The biggest one before this was winning the #11 Shootout heeling for Wesley Thorp at the 2012 USTRC Finals. Wesley headed for me at the high school rodeos, too.”

Kirchner and Thompson were rock solid all day long.
BFI Photo by Andersen CbarC Photo

Kirchner and Thompson were 6.66 on their last run to take their six-steer total over the 21-foot BFI scoreline to 45.38 seconds. Beers and Braman were 7.80 on their last one, and finished the reserve champs at 46.43 on six. Proctor missed. Then Summers and Petska ran down a runner in 8.70, which with 46.63 on six landed them third in the average at roping’s end. 

“I wanted to make sure I saw plenty, and to just go rope the steer for what he was,” said Kirchner, who had his lucky-charm girlfriend, Callie Hill, in the house. “I wasn’t real worried about what we won. I just wanted to do my job. We were sitting down at the back end when the last three teams roped. I didn’t even realize we’d won it when Tyson’s two brothers (Chace and Kreece) came running up and mobbed us, and told us we’d won it. I didn’t believe it.” 

“About the only thing we said to each other today was ‘Good job’ after every run,” said Thompson, whose cheering section was headed up by his mom, Kelly, and girlfriend, Y’leigh Yarborough. “We didn’t talk before the short round. We just kind of did our deal. We kept our heads down, and roped what they gave us.”

The Rodeo Road

Kirchner’s rodeoed the last couple years, and had a top-30 finish in 2021 and a top-40 finish in 2022, which included fourth at RodeoHouston with Austin Rogers. 

Team Kirchner and Thompson proved unstoppable from every angle.
BFI Photo by Andersen CbarC Photo

“Tyson and I have roped off and on at some jackpots since high school,” Kirchner said. “He texted me about roping here, and we’ve roped at a few rodeos, too. I don’t know how hard I’ll rodeo this year just yet. It’s been a little slow, but a win like this one definitely helps keep it rocking and rolling. I’d dang sure like to get in the top 30 to get into the winter rodeos next year. My good horse got hurt, but I hope to have him back by June.

“You have to ride that fine line here at the BFI, because you have to stay aggressive without stepping on your own toes. I’ve learned from past experience that safetying up is not the answer. I never worry about Tyson when we rope, and I wasn’t worried about him all day long here today. I know if I do my job there aren’t going to be any issues back there with Tyson.”

Thompson is entered up at the California spring rodeos with fellow Texan Jace Bland, but sure has fun roping with Kirchner. 

“Curry and I have entered together a handful of times, and have had really good luck,” Thompson said. “We won second twice together at the Junior Patriot a few years ago. It seems like we just win every time we enter together. I love roping with him.”

Breaking Through

Thompson’s having a breakthrough season all the way around in 2023. He got to heel for his brother Kreece at San Antonio, and won a little money in his bracket with his other brother, Chace, in his RodeoHouston debut. And this was the year the Thompson Ranch won it all at the RodeoHouston Ranch Rodeo. 

The short-round run that closed the deal for Kirchner and Thompson.
BFI Photo by Andersen CbarC Photo

“This has literally been a fairytale year,” Tyson said. “My family’s Thompson Ranch team—my brother Chace, Uncle Tyler, Chad Williams, Colton Burnett and me—finally won the ranch rodeo at Houston. Houston is the biggest ranch rodeo, and the greatest ranch rodeo by a ton. And now I get to win the BFI? Wow.”

BFI Horsepower 

With his horse temporarily sidelined, Kirchner’s been gratefully bumming a ride on a 13-year-old sorrel from his friend Jeff Tebo since December. 

“I call him Memphis, and he’s a big running-bred horse,” Kirchner said. “Jeff’s been kind enough to let me ride him this winter, and he was outstanding here today. He caught up so fast, and was so easy to handle steers on. These long setups fit him really good.” 

Thompson rode his 7-year-old sorrel horse Shoppa.

“Shoppa’s so calm and easy to rope on,” Thompson said. “He acts like he’s an old horse. He’s never in my way. He did a great job today.”

BFI Blessings

This was not the first time the BFI has blessed the Thompson family in a big way. Tyson’s dad, Todd, won $90,000 at last year’s BFI #12.5 Oilfield Classic heeling for Chick Wilfong, who won $90,000 of his own. 

“I don’t even know how to narrow down how big a deal winning the BFI is to me,” Tyson said. “When we got to the short round, that was a big deal. I thought if we could just catch one at a big roping like the BFI and finish in the top four, that would be a major accomplishment. To actually win it against guys like Cory Petska, Kory Koontz and Wesley Thorp—I can’t believe I’ve won a roping they’ve won.

“Cory Petska is a hero of mine. I give all the credit for my heeling to my dad and Wesley. I’ve gotten to spend some time with Kory the last couple years, and that guy can teach you stuff even when you golf with him. He’s just a cool person, and is always there to help you, even when you aren’t asking for it.”

Horses of the BFI

Clint Summers’ 11-year-old bay Joe and Logan Medlin’s 7-year-old bay Cantina were named Head and Heel Horse of the BFI, respectively. Powered by Dixon Flowers Rope Horses, the Horse of the BFI winners’ sculptures were created by Steve Miller of Lost Prairie Art & Bronze. The winners also received Dixon Flowers horse blankets, Best Ever Pads and $500.

Clint Summers was proud of his horse Joe for taking Head Horse of the BFI honors.
BFI Photo by Andersen CbarC Photo

“Joe always scores and runs super hard, and he worked outstanding today,” said Wrangler National Finals Rodeo switch-ender Summers. “He’s very easy to handle cattle on, and I’m planning to ride him outside this summer. Ever since I started heading, I looked up to Trevor (Brazile). I knew when I started heading that I needed the best head horses. To win this award is a pretty special deal to me.” 

Medlin has a pair of bay aces with stars on their foreheads and snips on their noses. There’s his 2020-21 Heel Horse of the Year, Drago, and then there’s his 2022 Heel Horse of the BFI, Cantina. Medlin bought Cantina, who’s 7 now, from the Tongue River Ranch the end of his 4-year-old year. Cantina looks just enough like Drago that even some of the Top 15 didn’t notice when he subbed him in during last December’s NFR from Round 4 on, when Drago needed to take a break. 

“Cantina’s still a little green, but he’s really stepped up,” Medlin said. “It’s hard to get off of a horse you know so well to get on a green one, but I actually like to jackpot on Cantina better than Drago. Cantina’s answered the call. 

And the Heel Horse of the 2023 BFI award goes to Logan Medlin’s Cantina.
BFI Photo by Andersen CbarC Photo

“Cantina winning this award gives me some peace of mind that I’m not crazy. It choked me up a little bit when they called his name. I didn’t expect to win it. I was very proud of Cantina today. It’s kind of cool to know that other people thought he did as good as I did.”

Life-Changing Money at the Lazy E  

“Everything about the BFI sets it apart from all other ropings,” Kirchner said. “It’s a horse race here at the Lazy E, and this is a wonderful place that’s been good to me over the years. The BFI is the top of the top roping. There’s just something special about it. I grew up watching BFI tapes, and still watch them today. 

“We won life-changing money here today, and everything about the BFI is just top class. I’m trying to build a place and get more head horses. This hasn’t really all sunk in just yet, but I have plenty of places to go with this money.”

“I still have tags on a pickup I just bought,” Thompson added. “I’m ready to put a bunch of rodeo miles on it, and now I can get it paid for, too. Between that and my horse addiction, this money will come in very handy. 

“There’s so much hype and prestige at the BFI, and the way they make you feel at this roping is unlike any other. They use spotlights, and the announcers know all the stats. The radio is blaring. This roping feels like a rodeo, and you’re in it every run. They get you in the zone at the BFI, and it’s a pretty fun place to be.”

Full Results from The Feist

First-Half Wrap-Up with Full Results from Wrangler BFI Week

Teens land big windfall; ladies, legends bank tens of thousands

GUTHRIE, Oklahoma, April 1, 2023 – Southeastern Oklahoma  State University’s Levi James and Murray State College’s Garrett Hughes combined to out-rope nearly 400 teams in the biggest Hooey Jr. BFI on record in Guthrie, Oklahoma’s Lazy E Arena, splitting a cool $50,000 cash plus huge array of prizes. James of Atoka, Okla., and Hughes of Sulphur, Okla., caught four steers in 29.44 seconds for the windfall on March 30.

Then, in the Hooey Jr. BFI Open for higher-ranked ropers, it was Weatherford College standouts Jett Stewart and Cashton Weidenbener who took home $42,000 plus Cactus saddles, Resistol hats, Gist buckles, Hooey backpacks and Smarty dummies, among other prizes. The pair had left their Texas home at 2:30 a.m. to make it to Guthrie for the day’s ropings, then took off to Snyder, Texas for the next evening’s college rodeo.

Weidenbener of Payson, Arizona, is the defending National High School Finals Rodeo heeling champion. It was only the second jackpot for the young horse ridden by Ione, Oregon’s Jett Stewart, who is the son of former NFR heeler Jason Stewart. The latter had called his father before that final steer for $42,000 and gotten this advice:  “It’s not that hard. Just score, ride and rope.” 

Earlier in the week, Arkansas heeler Whitney DeSalvo won her fifth Charlie 1 Horse team roping championship in six years, this time with Arizona’s Kenzie Kelton. The pair split $20,800 on March 29 for roping four steers in 37.50 seconds. 

DeSalvo, the highest-rated female heeler in the world, also placed seventh and eighth in the roping to earn $13,900 on the day. It was only her second time to rope with Kelton, a freshman at Central Arizona College in Coolidge. Kenzie’s dad, Chance, is a former NFR header and her brother, Ketch, won the Jr Ironman Title at the Timed-Event Championships of the World in the same arena less than a month earlier. 

Dana Markham and Kelly Snow combined to win the 9.5 Incentive on three steers, worth $7,500.

The Charlie 1 Horse Breakaway title went to Sarah Angelone of Lipan, Texas (the defending Women’s Professional Rodeo Association all-around champion originally hails from Virginia). For catching all three calves in 9.73 seconds, she earned $14,000 cash and several prizes – plus another $2,760 in the rounds. 

“I was focusing on just roping one calf at a time and doing my job each round,” said Angelone, who also had a good callback with her other entry, but broke out. 

She explained it was important to maintain a strong mental game throughout the long day of roping.

“Having a short-term memory mindset helped me clear my mind after that breakout and be able to focus on my next calf,” she said.  

Arizona native Brett Woolsey won about $5,000 in the team roping and breakaway to clinch the all-around title and prizeline including two Smarty dummies.

On March 31 in Guthrie, Jaret Freeman and Scott Lauaki bested 142 teams to split $60,000 cash and the BFI prizeline for winning the 15.5 roping. The field they beat included NFR greats Trevor Brazile (heeling), Brandon Beers and Matt Sherwood.

Later that day, wildfires in the Guthrie area postponed the latter half of the BFI Legends roping, but Cory Petska and Seth Smithson hung tight for the $19,000 win. They roped five steers in 37.70 seconds. In its second year, the jackpot for former BFI contestants over 40 draws legends such as Tee Woolman and Rich Skelton. Petska was heading, but he’s a world champion heeler and former BFI champion heeler.

Wrangler BFI Week continues with the BFI itself on April 1, followed by the 12.5 on April 2, the 11.5 Businessman’s and 10.5-Over-40 on April 3 and the 9.5-Over-40, 8.5 and 7.5 on April 3. 

Wrangler BFI Week Results

Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Team Roping

Round One:  1. Kayelen Helton and Becky Cannizzaro, 6.49 seconds, $1,000; 2. Kenzie Kelton and Whitney DeSalvo, 7.49 seconds, $800; 3. Quincy Sullivan and Brett Woolsey, 7.97 seconds, $400. Round Two:  1. Danielle Lowman and Arena Ben, 6.27 seconds, $1,000; 2. Hope Thompson and Kennlee Tate, 6.97 seconds, $800; 3. Quincy Sullivan and Casey Jo Hodge, 7.23 seconds, $400. Short Round:  1. Stevens and Rylee Stokes, 8.72 seconds, $1,000; 2. Kelsey Pepion and Annette Stahl, 9.32 seconds, $800. Average:  1. Kenzie Kelton and Whitney DeSalvo, 37.50 seconds, $20,000; 2. Dana Markham and Kelly Snow, 38.19 seconds, $14,000; 3. Connie Harris and Megan Gunter, 39.49 seconds, $11,000; 4. Carsyn Tharp and Kennlee Tate, 42.59 seconds, $8,000; 5. Jessica Montgomery and Jackie Crawford, 43.13 seconds, $6,000; 6. Martha Angelone and Danielle Roper, 43.86 seconds, $5,000; 7. Kenna Francis and Whitney DeSalvo, 44.71 seconds, $4,000; 8. Decca Gagan and Whitney DeSalvo, 45.05 seconds, $3,000.  9.5 Incentive Average on Three:  1. Dana Markham and Kelly Snow, 27.76 seconds, $7,500; 2. Emma Carrell and Courtney Crites, 29.45 seconds, $4,500; 3. Connie Harriss and Megan Gunter, 31.21 seconds, $3,000; 4. Avery Goegelle and Kelly Snow, 32.62 seconds, $2,500; 5. Sydney Ball and Kennlee Tate, 33.52 seconds, $2,000; 6. Carsyn Tharp and Kennlee Tate, 33.71 seconds, $2,000

Charlie 1 Horse Breakaway

First Round:  1. Quincy Sullivan, 3.03 seconds, $1,000; 2. Sarah Angelone, 3.04, $750; 3. Baylee Barker, 3.06, $500; Second Round:  1. Sarah Angelone, 3.05, $1,000; 2. Janae Todacheenie, 3.35, $750; 3. Cheyenne Guillory, 3.36, $500; Short Round Fast Time (Not Placing in Average):  1. Sarah Angelone (other entry), 12.61, $1,000. Average:  1. Sarah Angelone, 9.73 on three, $14,000; 2. Taylor Hanchey, 10.98, $10,000; 3. Hali Williams, 11.32, $6,500; 4. Janae Todacheenie, 11.75, $5,500; 5. Brandi McDowell, 12.14, $4,500; 6. Brett Woolsey, 12.4, $3,500; 7. Jackie Crawford, 12.42, $3,000; 8.  Bailey Jay, 12.68, $2,500; 9. Kennedy Buckner, 13.01, $2,000; 10. Danielle Wray, 13.21, $1,500; 11. Lexey Williams, 15.37, $1,250. 18-And-Under Incentive:  1. Brett Woolsey, 12.4, $1,000; 2. Summer Williams, 8.73 on two, $750; 3. Kamey Kennermer, 10.22, $500.

Hooey Jr. BFI 10.5

First Rotation:  1. Wesson Parker and Rowdy Payne, 6.33 seconds, $2,500; 2. Levi James and Garrett Hughes, 6.67, $2,000; 3. Mason Cross and Wyatt J Howell, 7.31, $1,500; 4. Jacob Rush and John David Daniel, 7.46, $700. Second Rotation:  1. Preston Ivey and Brayden Morris, 5.45, $2,500; 2. Landon Dasilva and Wyatt J Howell, 5.70, $2,000; 3. Trigger Hargrove and Wiley Breeze, 6.23, $1,500; 4. Aaron Raulston and Brayden A Israel, 6.24, $700. Third Rotation:  1. Colton Williamson and Layne Rogers, 5.88, $2,500; 2. Briar White and Tate Barton, 6.36, $2,000; 3. Taton Salazar and Colton Devore, 6.56, $1,100; 4. Holland Roukema and Teagan Roukema, 6.56, $1,100; Fourth Rotation:  1. Kade Gierisch and Tanner  Tomlinson, 6.23, $2,500; 2. Bridger Ketcham and Cole Wilson, 6.53, $2,000; 3. Maverick Lozano and Cross Ringelstein, 6.68, $1,500; 4. Bobby Vaughn and Traven Todd, 7.03, $350; 4. Bridger Ketcham and Trey Toft, 7.03, $350. Short Round that didn’t place in the average:  1. Casper Ringelstein and Zane Starns, 13.00, $2,000; 2. Mattox Moyer and Keaton Kellum, 13.90, $1,500; 3. Tanner Evans and Lucas Willeford, 14.22, $1,000.  Average:  1. Levi James and Garrett Hughes, 29.44 seconds on five, $50,000; 2. Kaitlyn Torres and Cross Ringelstein, 30.44, $30,000; 3. Jaxon Stoker and Noah Vasquez, 31.59, $18,000; 4. Jadon Bailey and Junior Jose Corpus, 32.20, $12,500; 5. Raesh Casebolt and Brodie Boyce, 32.77, $10,000; 6. Foreman Casebolt and Sid Harvey, 33.92, $9,000; 7. Joseph Villareal and Maverick Lozano, 34.17, $8,000; 8. Jaycus Hill and Garrett Hughes, 34.31, $6,000; 9. Bridger Ketcham and Trey Toft, 34.38, $5,000; 10. Colter Reed and Snook Traden Lauer, 34.80, $4,500; 11. Brody Mathiews and Ryan Davis, 35.01, $4,000; 12. Blaine Coates and Wylie Morgan, 35.91, $3,500; 13. Conner Wright and Trentyn Hurst, 36.61, $3,000; 14. Rendon Powledge and Ryan Davis, 37.20, $3,000; 15. Bill Cody Odell and Junior Jose Corpus, 38.79, $3,000; 16. Blaine Coates and Cole Denny, 39.87, $2,500; 17. Weston Lakin and Jaxon Reynolds, 40.63, $2,500; 18. Easton Lakin and Blaine Caldwell, 41.56, $2,500; $1,250; 19. Jhett Vanderhamm and Colter Reed Snook, 41.67, $2,500; 20. Rachel Kittle and Beau West, 41.95, $2,500.

Hooey Jr. BFI Open

First Round:  1. Brayden Schmidt and Logan Cullen, 6.50 seconds, $3,000; 2. Cutter Cain and Dodge Hare, 6.65, $2,000; 3. James Arviso and Nicky Northcott, 7.31, $1,000. Second Round:  1. Cole Smith and Landen Glenn, 6.0, $3,000; 2. Cole Smith and Michael Eugenio Calmelat, 6.51, $2,000; 3. Casper Ringelstein and Scout McElroy, 7.03, $1,000. Short Round:  1. Cole Smith and Michael Eugenio Calmelat, 7.09, $3,000; 2. James Arviso and John Hisel, 7.91, $2,000; 3. Jett Stewart and Cashton Weidenbener, 7.96, $1,000.  Average:  1. Jett Stewart and Cashton Weidenbener, 41.09 seconds on five head, $42,000; 2. Mason Appleton and JR Gonzalez, 41.27, $25,000; 3. Damian Jr Padilla and Michael Eugenio Calmelat, 43.24, $15,000; 4. Denton Parish and Denton Dunning, 45.27, $11,000; 5. Mason McDaniel and Sammy Saunders, 45.85, $8,500; 6. James Arviso and John Hisel, 45.86, $6,000; 7. Cole Smith and Michael Eugenio Calmelat, 47.33, $5,000; 8. Ketch Kelton and Logan Cullen, 48.42, $4,500; 9. Cason Richey and Will Smith, 49.60, $4,000; 10. Eli Green and Porter Bryant, 49.61, $4,000; 11. Brayden Schmidt and Logan Cullen, 50.89, $3,500; 12. Brennen Wilson and Brayden Morris, 56.75, $3,500.


First Round:  1. Brandon Farris and Shawn Crockett, 6.82 seconds, $4,000; 2. Jimmy Harrison and Derrick Jantzen, 7.24 seconds, $3,000; 3. Jaxon Hill and Hayden Sanders, 7.53 seconds, $2,000. Short Round (Not Placing In Average):  1. Kevin Williams and Brad Newberry, 8.47 seconds, $3,000; 2. Race Meliman and Daniel Braman, 9.92 seconds, $2,000; 3. Peyton Walters and Luke Miller, 10.47 seconds, $1,000.  Average:  1. Jarett Freeman and Scott Lauaki, 31.83 seconds on four head, $60,000; 2. Brandon Farris and Shawn Crockett, 32.56 seconds, $40,000; 3. Brandon Beers and Bobby Alexander, 33.75 seconds, $30,000; 4. Bobby Mote and Trevor Brazile, 34.33 seconds, $23,000; 5. Brad Freeland and Matt Sherwood, 34.61 seconds, $18,000; 6. Brandon Farris and Braden Harmon, 34.63 seconds, $16,000; 7. Miles Baker and Shawn Crockett, 35.75 seconds, $12,000; 8. Walker Smith and Brady Kyle, 35.89 seconds, $8,000; 9. Matt Sherwood and Chase Helton, 36.0 seconds, $6,000.

BFI Legends 

First Round:  1. Vic Morrison and Steve Orth, 6.70 seconds, $2,000. Second Round:  1. Cory Petska and Seth Smithson, 6.09 seconds, $2,000. Short Round:  1. Chris Francis and Josh Patton, 7.34 seconds, $2,000. Average:  1. Cory Petska and Seth Smithson, 37.70 seconds on five steers, $19,000; 2. Troy Fischer and Boogie Ray, 42.65 seconds, $11,000; 3. Logan Olson and Seth Smithson, 42.99 seconds, $7,500.

Petska and Smithson Are 2023 BFI Legends Champs

BFI Week was built on a foundation of tradition. It’s packed with prestige, and the producers keep coming up with new ways to raise the already sky-high BFI bar. The concept of the BFI Legends roping is about as cool as it comes, and a chance for over-40 living legends who may have pulled up from the full-time rodeo trail to come together for a roping reunion with each other, while at the same time showing the rest of the Western world that they’ve still got it. Cory Petska and Seth Smithson won the 2023 BFI Legends roping, held today (March 31) at the world-famous Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma. And it doesn’t get much cooler than a world champion heeler heading for a guy who never rodeoed professionally. 

“This is the biggest win of my heading career,” said 2017 World Champion Heeler Petska, who’s 43 now. “It’s my first major win as a header, and the Legends roping is an amazing concept. I didn’t win anything at this roping last year, and couldn’t wait to come back this year. 

Seth Smithson and Cory Petska roped five steers in 37.7 seconds to win the 2023 BFI Legends roping. Andersen CbarC Photo

“We got to watch Speed (Williams) and Rich (Skelton), and Tee (Woolman) and Rich rope together today. Nick Rowland lived with my family when we were kids. I headed for Nick and heeled for my dad (Paul Petska) when we were 16-17 years old. Getting to head for Nick here today was like old times.”

Petska and Smithson—who roped five steers in 37.7 seconds to take home $21,000, including $19,000 for the average win and another $2,000 for the Round 2 win—are a first-time team, and had only seen each other around before now. 

“I’ve seen Seth at the jackpots for years, but I didn’t know him,” Petska said. “Seth’s a guy I said ‘hi’ to in passing, and I knew he roped really good. Martin Lucero was supposed to be my second partner today, but when he couldn’t make it, I was excited to get to rope with Seth.”

They’d only met in passing, but even before Logan Olson played last-minute matchmaker for this year’s BFI Legends roping, Petska had made a mighty impact on Smithson’s heeling without even knowing it.

“I’d never met Cory in my life until Corpus (Christi, Texas) in 2019,” remembers Smithson, who’s 40 and lives with his wife, Leah, and three kids, Scarlett, 10, Beau, 8 and Saylor, 6, in Liberty Hill, Texas. “I was in a big rut with my roping, and asked Cory about it. He told me one super-simple thing that made a big difference for me.

“I was explaining to Cory that I was way behind in the run, and was getting my shorts jerked down a lot. He asked if I watched the head rope go on, and I said, ‘Yes.’ Cory told me to stop doing that, and to just watch the feet. It changed everything. And funny thing is, ‘Just watch the feet’ was the last thing I told myself before our short-round steer today.”

They built up a commanding lead on their first four runs to ride in high team. 

“We were high call by five seconds, had 13 to win it and were 8 on our last steer,” said Petska, who lives with his four-time World Champion Barrel Racer wife, Sherry Cervi, in Marana, Arizona. “I just made sure I saw six inches to a foot further than I had the rest of the steers, and took a couple extra swings.”

Smithson has roped at The American twice—with Colby Schneeman in 2014, and Wesley Thorp in 2017. 

With a go-round win on top of the average check, Corky Ullman, left, and Daren Peterson, right, awarded BFI Legends winners Petska and Smithson a grand total of $21,000.
Andersen CbarC Photo

“This is my biggest day,” said Seth, whose day job is running the 3 Spurs Ranch in Liberty Hill. “It’s the most money I’ve ever won in one sitting. I was just a jackpotter. I amateur rodeoed some, but never pro rodeoed. It was really cool just to get to rope with guys like Cory and Logan in this roping. They’re professionals. Roping with them was fun. This is a big win for me.”

Smithson won it with Petska, and also placed third with Olson behind reserve champs Troy Fischer and Boogie Ray. And Seth surely gets bonus points for having his banner day on the back of a 3-year-old. He bought the sorrel he calls Gunner at the Triangle Horse Sale in Shawnee, Oklahoma when he was 2. 

Petska rode an 11-year-old, bald-faced sorrel he and Sherry raised and call Brutus. 

“Sherry started him as a barrel horse, then I started heading on him,” Cory said. “He’s my pride and joy. I love Brutus as much as I love Chumley, and I won a gold buckle on Chumley. He’s a cool horse.”

He better be to take on the cowboy conditions that come with the massive Lazy E Arena, of which these guys are both big fans.

“I love this roping, especially in this arena,” Petska said. “I love the Lazy E. It’s big, and it’s legendary. I’ve been coming here since I was a little kid. I love roping here—heading and heeling. It’s a very special arena, and you better cowboy up when you come here.”

“I love it here at the Lazy E, too, and it just seems like I always do good here,” Smithson added. “This was an awesome roping, and Cory did an unbelievable job. He headed like a world champion header today.”

About that. Yes, Cory will heel for Clint Summers in tomorrow’s (April 1) 100% payback BFI. But to tip you off on how much Petska’s been heading, his horse herd currently consists of seven head horses and three heel horses. 

“I head a lot more than I heel these days,” he said. “I’ve heeled my whole life. It’s a job. Heading is fun, because I’m getting to work on something new.”

Summers is an NFR switch-ender. Might Petska entertain such a challenge?

Petska and Smithson both love the wide open spaces of the Lazy E Arena.
Andersen CbarC Photo

“I would love to,” he said. “There’s no bigger dream to me than to try and make the NFR heading. But every time I think about it, it plays in my mind that it’s stupid to try something I’m not sure about when I know I can win heeling. It’s just a dream, but it is in my head that it would be cool to be the first guy to win a gold buckle heading and heeling.”

It’s fun to daydream about, but rodeo’s role in Cory and Sherry’s lives continues to evolve. 

“I rope (at the rodeos) every winter, then head to Wisconsin,” he said. “Sherry and I run 1,900 head of yearlings, and the cattle deal is my priority now. We used to look at rodeo as a job. Now we pick and choose the rodeos we want to go to. I still love to rope, and still feel like I’m competitive. 

“I rodeo because I love it now, not because I have to do it. Sherry, too. She’s training a bunch of colts, and still wants to make her 20th trip to the NFR. But if her horse steps up and becomes the next big thing, she can get that done in 30 rodeos. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the heart to go to 75 rodeos again, and that’s what you have to do to make it heeling. But I still practice every day, and I do still love it.”

When a nearby grass fire and high winds caused a delay during the BFI Legends roping, it almost felt like a blessing in disguise to Petska. 

“The BFI Legends roping was a full-on roping reunion,” said 15-time NFR heeler Cory. “When they had to shut the roping down for a little while for the smoke to clear, we all had so much fun visiting and telling stories. I only wish more guys would come, even if only to socialize, because it was just like old times. A great roping, and so good to see so many old cowboy friends.”

2023 BFI Legends Results

Aggregate Results (on five head) – payout per team

  1. Cory Petska and Seth Smithson, 37.70 seconds, $19,000
  2. Troy Fischer and Boogie Ray, 42.65 seconds, $11,000
  3. Logan Olson and Seth Smithson, 42.99 seconds, $7,500

Round One Fast Time

  1. Vic Morrison and Steve Orth, 6.70 seconds, $2,000

Round Two Fast Time

  1. Cory Petska and Seth Smithson, 6.09 seconds, $2,000

Short Go Fast Time

  1. Chris Francis and Josh Patton, 7.34 seconds, $2,000

Bid on a Bones

Our generous Wrangler BFI Week supporters have allowed us to raise $214,400 over the past six years to help local charities!

This year, our annual BFI calcutta on March 31 will feature a custom Heel-O-Matic Bones dummy – the proceeds of which will benefit the Oklahoma chapter of Flags Of Honor. And you can bid even if you’re not in Guthrie! For the first time, calcutta teams and items can be bought online. Just register to bid at (scroll down to BFI Online Sale).

“We love their mission of ‘meeting sacrifice with hope’ by helping the families of not only the servicemen and women protecting our freedom, but also firefighters, police, paramedics and others who respond to emergencies,” said BFI co-owner Daren Peterson.

The charity has been awarding life-changing scholarships since 2007 to the families of America’s fallen or disabled military and first responders. It ranks in the top tier of our country’s charities because 91 percent of every dollar raised goes into the scholarships themselves.

The folded American flag represents the heavy price of freedom – but is also a symbol of hope and democracy. By bidding on the Bones on March 31, you’re letting the families of our national heroes know they haven’t been forgotten. Find out more by visiting

“I’ve had a little experience partnering with the PBR, but we’ve never really done anything with team roping,” said Folds Of Honor’s Brandon Baker of Oklahoma City, who expects one of the recipient families to attend the calcutta. “It’ll be fun.”

Doors open at 5 p.m. and the calcutta begins at 6 p.m. Central time at the Chicken Shack in Arcadia, Oklahoma – or bid online for this one-of-a-kind dummy.

Let’s Hear it for Five Living Legends With BFI Threepeats on Their Roping Resumes

Here comes the 46th annual BFI, and this year’s unprecedented 100% payback has the Western world buzzing. The anchor event of BFI Week 2023, which will run March 29 through April 4 at the world-famous Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma, will be held April 1. Five cowboys—Clay Tryan, Kory Koontz, Speed Williams, Rich Skelton and Charles Pogue—have won the BFI battle three times. Four of the five, including the big three on the all-time BFI earnings list—Tryan at $259,361, Koontz at $241,514 and Skelton with $221,406—are entered up again this year. What does it take to come out king of the BFI mountain? Who better to answer all the questions than the masters themselves. 

Clay Tryan

Clay Tryan and Walt Woodard won the 2008 BFI with 47.83 on six. That’s Clay on Thumper.
BFI Photo – Kirt Steinke

Three-time World Champion Team Roper Clay Tryan won the 2005 BFI with Patrick Smith; the 2008 BFI with Walt Woodard; and the 2012 BFI with Travis Graves. Tryan is a 20-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo header with well over $3 million in career earnings. 

What sets the BFI apart from all other ropings?

The BFI is to team roping what The Masters is to golf. This is the roping that started the big wave of team ropings back in the day. The BFI was the original big roping.

What does it take to win the BFI?

You’ve always had to have a good head horse and a good day of roping to win the BFI. But I think it’s different now, because more people are jackpot-ready. It wasn’t like that when I first started going. BFI day is a long one, and it’s hard to stay focused. 

Why are you one of the Big Five who’s managed a BFI threepeat?

I don’t know. That’s a tough question. Guys who are good at jackpotting have had a lot of success at the BFI, and great head horses are a common denominator. Speed had Bob. Charles had Scooter. I had Thumper and Dew. Those horses would be some of the best going right now, too—maybe the best. 

Who are you roping with at this year’s BFI, and what do you like best about your team at this roping?

I’m roping with Jade (Corkill). Jade’s just the portrait of how you should heel. When you watch him, that’s how it should look. That’s a good feeling to have on your team, no matter where you’re entered. 

Kory Koontz

Kory Koontz won his second straight BFI in 1996 behind Matt Tyler. They were 47.63 on six.
BFI Photo – Larry Fulgham

Kory Koontz is a 22-time NFR heeler. He won his three BFIs with Rube Woolsey in 1995, Matt Tyler in 1996 and Manny Egusquiza in 2021. 

What sets the BFI apart from all other ropings?

I believe the BFI is the best test of everything that team roping is. You have to score good as a header. The steers are big and strong, and run hard. The header has to do a good job of shaping them up, and the heeler has to do a good job of getting them caught all day long. It’s six steers and enter once, so you have to make every steer count. The money you can win at the BFI sets it apart also.

What does it take to win the BFI?

For me, it takes being prepared mentally to not worry about what the rest of the field is doing. I want to just rope my steers one for one. You start early in the morning, and don’t get done until late in the evening. So I look at the BFI as playing a game. It’s about staying focused and doing my job, plain and simple. I want to be ready, take the right shot at the right time and execute. 

Why are you one of the Big Five who’s managed a BFI threepeat?

I don’t really know the answer to that, other than I’ve never had any fear of the big ropings. I kind of feel like I’ve thrived at doing well at the big ones. I’m not sure why that is, but it’s an awesome opportunity and I love the big ropings. As a kid, I played high call at the BFI. The BFI’s always been my favorite.

Who are you roping with at this year’s BFI, and what do you like best about your team at this roping?

I’m roping with a young kid from Texas, Peyton Walters. I’ve roped with him at a few jackpots, and we’ve always done well. I’m going to rope with Peyton, and ride my cousin Tripp Townsend’s blue-roan horse. 

Speed Williams

The only team to win the BFI three times is Speed Williams and Rich Skelton, who struck in 1998, 2001 and 2002. 
BFI Photo – Larry Fulgham

Speed Williams and Rich Skelton won a record eight-straight world team roping titles together from 1997-2004. They also won three BFIs during their reign of team roping terror, in 1998, 2001 and ’02. Williams is a 15-time NFR header. 

What sets the BFI apart from all other ropings?

There were just a few ropings a year that really could set up your year, and the BFI was right before the summer run. It was a huge boost to get a win at the BFI. But the history of the BFI—the long score and big steers that run—is about showcasing what your head horse could do. 

What does it take to win the BFI?

You’ve got to be very disciplined. You’ve got to score. You really can’t draw one of the steers that takes you out of the roping. You don’t have to draw great, but with that many good teams entered, there are always steers in there you have to stay away from. With the degree of difficulty at the BFI, last year had to be one of the most awesome short rounds I’ve witnessed. It was pretty impressive. 

Why are you one of the Big Five who’s managed a BFI threepeat?

I had a great horse. Bob and I should have had a lot more victories there. The BFI is a place where you just have to back in there, be disciplined and use your horse. Bob was a great one for those conditions. 

Who are you roping with at this year’s BFI, and what do you like best about your team at this roping?

I’m roping with my son, Gabe, and am riding a bay Reliance Ranches horse they call Charlie that Gary McKinney sent me that’s really fast. If I get him under control, I’m going to be excited about it. We’ve been to three ropings, and made the short round every time. This horse is a work in progress, but I haven’t been on one with this much speed in a long time. He used to be a racehorse. 

Rich Skelton

Williams and Skelton won the 2001 BFI aboard Bob and Roany in 45.72 seconds.
BFI Photo – Kirt Steinke

In addition to those eight gold buckles and three BFI buckles he won behind Williams, Skelton has roped at 22 NFRs and one National Finals Steer Roping. 

What sets the BFI apart from all other ropings?

The BFI was always a very special roping to me. When I was a kid growing up in Texas, I couldn’t wait to get the Ropers Sports News to see the BFI pictures. The longer score, stronger steers and just entering one time set the BFI apart. You’ve got to have good horses, and there’s just so much heritage behind this roping. The BFI and the Chowchilla Stampede were out in California, and were the first big ropings I ever heard of. 

What does it take to win the BFI?

It takes a really nice head horse that scores, can run and get ahold of the steers. You have to be consistent, and make six similar runs. You have to draw good to win the BFI. But the better your header hits the barrier, the better you seem to draw. You also need a heel horse that doesn’t take your throw away, and that lets you throw when each steer is ready to heel. Horsepower’s tremendous at the BFI. 

Why are you one of the Big Five who’s managed a BFI threepeat?

All the stars lined up. I’ve roped behind really nice head horses at the BFI over the years, and had really nice heel horses that fit that situation. You can’t beat yourself at the BFI, so you have to know when to take a chance and when to just catch. I won second with Tee (Woolman), too, and he always had nice horses for that situation. Never underestimate the value of horsepower at the BFI.

Who are you roping with at this year’s BFI, and what do you like best about your team at this roping?

I’m roping with Clayton Van Aken this year, and he’s a really good horseman. He goes to a lot of the rope-horse futurities, and has nice horses, scores great and ropes horns really good. 

Charles Pogue

Charles Pogue and Britt Bockius went back-to-back at the BFI in 1999 and 2000, with Pogue aboard the legendary Scooter. 
BFI Photo – Larry Fulgham

Charles Pogue is a 15-time NFR header who won the 1991 BFI with Steve Northcott, and the 1999 and 2000 ropings with Britt Bockius. Pogue won the 10-head NFR average in 1988 heading for Rickey Green, and the 2000 NFR with Bockius. 

What sets the BFI apart from all other ropings?

The BFI was one roping you always heard about as a kid growing up, and hoped you’d one day get to the level to get to go compete at it. The BFI was the most popular, prestigious roping. It was the big one in my mind growing up, and when I was learning to rope, I hoped I’d be good enough one day to win the BFI. 

What does it take to win the BFI?

They let ’em out there pretty far, so both guys have to be mounted on good horses to win the BFI. To put six runs together at the BFI, you need horses that can really run and work good at high speed. 

Why are you one of the Big Five who’s managed a BFI threepeat?

I won all three BFIs on Scooter, so that obviously helped a lot. The BFI was the style of roping I based my run on at the time. You turned it up a little at the rodeos, but for the most part trying to make a high-tempo run consistently was the goal and the game plan. Riding a great horse and getting to rope with good guys took a lot of pressure off of me. 

When did you last rope at the BFI, and why’d you quit entering? 

My last BFI was about three years ago. It’s hard to go win at that roping if you’re not going and competing at a high level all the time. If you’re realistic with yourself, if you’re not dialed in and you don’t have the right horse and partner, your odds for success at the BFI are pretty slim.

46th BFI Roster Set

The star-studded cast entered in the 46th annual Bob Feist Invitational on April 1 in Guthrie, Oklahoma, includes the only four humans who’ve won the BFI three times. High-money leader Clay Tryan, Hall-of-Famers Speed Williams and Rich Skelton (roping with other partners), and 2021 champ Kory Koontz will each be part of 125 teams gunning for a first-place cash prize that reached $150,000 last year.

Tryan, also a three-time world champion, will try to add to the $259,361 BFI dollars he’s banked with his gold-buckle partner Jade Corkill – who has never won the BFI. And Koontz brings a new partner in Peyton Walters, who won the 2020 Yeti Jr. Open at the USTRC Finals. Meanwhile, BFI heavyweight Skelton will be stopping the clock for Clayton Van Aken, who has won go-rounds and placed in past BFI averages. Other BFI heavy-hitters Cory Petska, Buddy Hawkins and Luke Brown will try it on this time with Clint Summers, Andrew Ward and Hunter Koch, respectively.

The veterans will appreciate this as the first year an Open roping pays back 100 percent of their entry fees. The rookies are just glad to be on the roster – including the youngest-ever heeler to achieve a 9.5 handicap. In fact, this year’s first-timers are some of the most talented teenagers in the history of team roping.

Read More: BFI to Pay Back One Hundred Percent

Is this an April Fool’s Joke? Not hardly. For the first time in history, the Bob Feist Invitational on April 1 will pay back 100 percent of the pot to ropers.

Defending national high school champion James Arviso, 19, is partnered with 16-year-old Nicky Northcott, whose dad Steve won the BFI in 1991 with Charles Pogue and again in ’93 with Matt Tyler. Arviso – Derrick Begay’s nephew – is not only the defending Jr. BFI champ but placed second at the 2022 BFI with Josh Patton to split $100,000. Zack Woods, 24, and Michael Calmelat – the 14-year-old No. 9.5 – are former Jr. NFR champions bringing Daniel Reed and Pedro Egurrola, respectively, while 17-year-old Denton Dunning was picked up by world champion Aaron Tsinigine for the BFI.

Meanwhile, defending BFI champs Jake Clay and Billie Jack Saebens will be tough to beat with their new partners, each world champs. Clay will head for Kollin VonAhn, while Saebens will heel for Matt Sherwood. Most notably, draw No. 56 will be Williams, who returns to “The Feist” for the second time with his 16-year-old son, Gabe, after 13 years away.

Legendary Hall-of-Famer and former BFI champ Trevor Brazile, who retired from full-time competition, will head for Joseph Harrison this year. Fan-favorite Begay drug his old Arizona friend Colter Todd off the Arizona ranch to try their luck, while former BFI champ and world champ Walt Woodard will team with Quinn Kesler. Plus, world champion header Colby Lovell is partnering with former NFR heeler Dakota Kirchenschlager, who retired from rodeo.

The public will be hard-pressed to choose a prospective winner at the annual Cowboy Auction and Dinner, scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Chicken Shack in Arcadia, Oklahoma, on Friday night, March 31. The BFI anchors Wrangler BFI Week, which last year paid out $2.92 million in cash and prizes, and runs March 29 through April 4.

Read More: 2023 The Feist Draw

Tickets for the BFI can be purchased on site at the Lazy E Arena, by phone at 405-282-RIDE or online at A special roper rate is available at the Hampton Inn and Suites of Guthrie, by calling (405) 293-9595. 

April BFI at Lazy E Introduces Legends

On the 45th anniversary, former BFI contenders invited back

Team roping fans with the Bob Feist Invitational on their must-watch bucket list have one more reason to catch the 2022 edition this spring. The day before the 45th anniversary of Bob Feist’s original Open roping – Wrangler BFI XLV presented by Yeti on April 2 – organizers are adding a new roping called BFI Legends.

It’s an Open roping just like the BFI – this one’s a five-steer using a rope barrier – but all headers and heelers must be at least 40 years old and can’t have qualified for the NFR anytime in the past five years. With a first-place paycheck of a guaranteed $40,000, you’re guaranteed to see the likes of Walt Woodard, Tyler Magnus, Tee Woolman, Rich Skelton and Speed Williams battling it out – especially since an additional $10,000 bonus goes to any team (like Speed and Rich) who win this year and have also won the BFI in the past.

After watching the best who have ever backed in a box, fans can attend the annual BFI welcome reception and auction that night starting at 5 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Edmond. Early teams entered in the 45th “Feist” on Saturday, April 2, include the still-hot world champs Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogeuira, along with powerhouses Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves, Clay Smith/Jade Corkill, Erich Rogers/Paden Bray, new team Chad Masters and Cory Petska, plus young guns like Nicky Northcott and Grady Quamm.

Kicking off Wrangler BFI Week on Thursday, March 31 are the Hooey Jr BFI 10.5 and Jr. Open ropings, then the 15.5 roping is followed by BFI Legends on Friday. That night, doors open for the cowboy auction and welcome reception at 5 p.m. at the Edmond Hilton Garden Inn. Saturday, April 2, all eyes are on Feist XLV. Then Sunday, April 3, expect the over-21, $10,000-added 12.5 Oilfield Classic. The 11.5 Businessman’s Roping, formerly produced by Perry DiLoreto, is scheduled first thing Monday, April 4, including a four-steer consolation round, and is followed by the 10.5 with an over-40, $10,000-added 9.5 incentive. Finally on Tuesday, April 5, the week wraps up with the Charlie 1 Horse All Girl team roping with 9.5 and Youth Incentives, and breakaway.

Every roping except the actual BFI during Wrangler BFI Week presented by Yeti, March 31 – April 5, is free of charge. BFI tickets are available in person at the Lazy E box office, by phone at 405-282-RIDE, or online at Visit for more information. Reservations with special roper rates are available at Edmond’s Hilton Garden Inn.


by Julie Mankin

Join us in celebrating 40 years of team roping excellence!

The Bob Feist Invitational is celebrating 40 years of team roping excellence on June 19th, 2017 during the Wildest, Richest, Rodeo in the West in Reno, Nevada. The BFI, commonly known as “The Feist” is the largest one day open roping in the country. One hundred of the best teams in the country battle it out over five full go-round rounds for their chance at nearly $800,000 in cash and prizes. At the end of the day, the top fifteen teams on five head will advance to the short-round and from there the champions of “The Feist” will be crowned after the sixth steer is roped.